An Interdisciplinary Examination of the Material Effects of Deceptive Sport Beverage Advertisements

Abstract: Sport companies frequently make product claims in advertisements to influence consumer purchase decisions. Sport beverages, in particular, often tout health benefits and performance claims. Unfortunately, some sport beverage claims may be false or misleading, persuading consumers to erroneously purchase products due to incorrect information. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) prohibits any deceptive advertising resulting in a material effect on the consumer. Consumer behaviorists, however, rarely consider the FTC’s guidelines in measuring consumer deception. Therefore, drawing upon consumer behavior theory and the FTC’s guidelines, this paper examines the material effects of deceptive sport beverage advertisements. The authors identify and define three types of materiality: cognitive, affective, and behavioral. Employing a within-subjects experimental design, two studies were conducted: print and Facebook. The results reveal both types of deceptive advertisements had positive and statistically significant effects on all three types of materiality. These findings substantiate the determination of a violation by the National Advertising Division (NAD) and support further investigation of deceptive sport beverage advertising and marketing practices by the FTC.

The role of social categorization of models on visual attention to features of print advertisements. International Communication Association

Abstract: Recent trends in consumer behavior have resulted in brands’ use of models in ads that challenge essentialized social categories (e.g., racially ambiguous) to appeal to socially-conscious consumers. Although industry outlets propose tentative suggestions for mechanisms underlying positive responses to these models, little empirical research investigates how different aspects of social identity (e.g., race, gender) are associated with responses. Using a theoretical framework of social categorization (Macrae & Bodenhausen, 2000), the present experimental research used eyetracking to examine if visual attention to models in ads differs on the basis of social identity presentation and how attention is associated with consumer behavior measures like purchase intention. For ads with socially ambiguous models, it is expected that participants will demonstrate more attention to the model and less attention to the logo compared to ads with socially unambiguous models. A research question asks about the relationship of attention to these features with purchase intention.